HLC Self Study
Chapter 7 Graphic

Summary

Estrella Mountain Community College is committed to lifelong learning and regularly seeks input from the West Valley community on how to establish creative and inclusive learning environments for students. Estrella Mountain supports experiential learning events, strong general education standards and enhanced internship dedication to provide students with the necessary attitudes and skills for a life of learning in a diverse society. Dedicated to an organizational culture where policies, programs, practices, and employees work collaboratively to support learning, the College implements continuous improvement initiatives and professional development opportunities that enable all employees to become more effective facilitators of learning.

The following Strengths, Challenges and Recommendations demonstrate that Estrella Mountain Community College promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.

Strengths

  • Estrella Mountain has a comprehensive and coherent general education program.
  • The College demonstrates strong linkages between curricular and co-curricular activities.
  • The General Education Abilities Matrix defines learning outcomes for the general education program.
  • Program Review at Estrella Mountain is used to assess instructional and service programs.
  • The expanded New Student Orientation empowers students by improving their knowledge of college resources and enabling the acquisition of skills and attitudes fundamental to responsible actions.
  • The College’s Academic Catalog and Student Handbook, which contain access to all academic policies and resources, are provided to students in a printed format and are located on the college website.
  • Information regarding Estrella Mountain and District policies and practices involving intellectual property rights is clearly defined for both students and employees.
  • Estrella Mountain utilizes advisory boards to maintain curriculum relevance.

Challenges

  • Estrella Mountain needs to gather more feedback from students who graduate and enter directly into the workforce.
  • Estrella Mountain needs to continue to increase student internship and community-based projects.
  • New Higher Learning Commission and U.S. Department of Education regulations make it more difficult for the College to respond quickly to emerging workforce needs.

Recommendations

  • All faculty (residential and adjunct) should be encouraged to incorporate information regarding the consequences of plagiarism and academic misconduct into their syllabi.
  • Estrella Mountain needs to continue to build evidence to demonstrate that improvements to programs, services and student learning have been implemented based on analysis of the program level data.